Ashton Kutcher testifies at Senate hearing to help eradicate sex trafficking

Ashton Kutcher delivered a powerful monologue for his latest role Wednesday: Witness at a Senate hearing titled entitled, "Ending Modern Slavery: Building on Success."

The chairman and co-founder of Thorn, 39, took a break from a film to give his testimony. According to Thorn's website, the organization partners "across the tech industry, government and NGOs and leverage technology to combat predatory behavior, rescue victims, and protect vulnerable children."

"I'm here today to defend the right to pursue happiness," Kutcher said, beginning his testimony. "It's a simple notion, the right to pursue happiness. It's bestowed upon all of us by our Constitution... and I believe that it is incumbent upon us as citizens of this nation, as Americans, to bestow that right upon others upon each other and on the rest of the world."

"But the right to pursue happiness for so many is stripped away," he continued. "It's raped. It's abused. It's taken by force, fraud or coercion. It is sold for the momentary happiness of another."

The Ranch star said he has met many victims through his work. "I've been on FBI raids where I've seen things that no person should ever see," shared the father of two children under the age of 3. "I've seen video content of a child that's the same age as mine being raped by an American man that was a sex tourist in Cambodia. This child was so conditioned by her environment that she thought she was engaging in play."

Kutcher also spoke of tools his organization has developed to assist authorities in investigations and asked for financing to build additional products. He also seemed to comment, albeit indirectly, on President Trump's immigration ban.

"When people are left out, when they're neglected, when they're not supported, and when they're not given the love that they need to grow, it becomes an incubator for trafficking," he advised. "And, this refugee crisis, if we want to be serious about ending slavery, we cannot ignore it and we cannot ignore our support for this issue in that space because otherwise we're going to deal with it for years to come."

After giving his testimony, the actor and venture capitalist was the target of light-hearted humor from Sen. John McCain. "I also want to thank Elisa (Massimino, another hearing witness) and Ashton. Ashton, you were better-looking in the movies, but anyway..." he trailed off before Kutcher blew him a kiss.

 

2017 USA Today


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